Collins Offered Job as RNESU Superintendent

Published 05/29 2014 01:45AM

Updated 05/29 2014 02:13AM

BRANDON, Vt. - Outgoing Superintendent of Burlington Schools Jeanne Collins has been offered a new job.

At a meeting Wednesday, the school board of the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union voted to offer Collins a one-year contract as superintendent there.

"I am very excited to be joining the RNESU community and look forward to working alongside the talented educators I met during my visit there," Collins wrote in a statement. "I am honored to be given this opportunity."

Collins and RNESU will now enter contract negotiations. The board would like her to start July 1st, soon after she's done in Burlington.

In a statement, the board wrote Collins "impressed the board with her comprehensive knowledge of educational issues and passion for successful outcomes for all students."

It says the choice of Collins followed a long search process which included interviews, site visits, and more than 60 reference checks.

"The Board was impressed by an overwhelmingly positive response from those referenced and believes that RNESU is gaining a strong, positive leader in Ms. Collins. We look forward to her contributions and leadership in advancing our innovative model of education."

But not everyone was happy with the choice of Collins. A petition with 250 signatures was given to the RNESU to argue against hiring Collins and complaints about the hiring process.

That's because after money issues at the Burlington School district, Collins agreed to resign and will receive a payout of nearly a quarter-million dollars.
"It's disheartening for me for her to even be considered," says Stacey Pearsons, who was at the board meeting.

Some of Collins' supporters traveled to Brandon.
"Jeanne has consistently proven that she does what's right," says Helen Hossley, a supporter of Collins.

Some at the meeting questioned Collins' leadership abilities. Though they say learning more about Collins made them a little less fearful.
"I do not think Rutland Northeast would immediately crash and burn were she chosen to be superintendent," says Colleen Wright.

The board says 22 people applied for the superintendent job. That was eventually narrowed down to two people, including Collins. After the other people bowed out, Collins became the only remaining candidate.

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